News from John Isaac Jones

Daddy’s Peanut Candy Delight

As a small child growing up in the hills of North Alabama, there was always one thing that would always make my ears perk up. That was my Daddy’s announcement that he was making his special peanut candy. “When will it be ready, daddy?” I would ask. “About thirty minutes,” he would reply. “I’ve got

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Interesting Facts about William Faulkner

Did you know William Faulkner, the Mississippi native and famous American novelist, bragged to his friends and acquaintances he had been wounded in battle during World War I when, in fact, he never saw combat. Did you know that the Nobel-winning author was an avid golfer who loved to spend hours searching for lost golf

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The Joys of a Front Porch

I am retired now; that is, I am retired from working with the public.  However, I am not retired from life and I am relishing  the freedom to harken to a whim and go sit out on the front porch with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold iced tea, a good book

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Baking Bread to Relieve Stress

Believe it or not, baking bread can help relieve stress. Since the day I started cooking as a teenager, I have loved working with yeast. Perhaps you do, too. It’s not difficult, but the yeast needs to be in date or it will result in a useless effort. In this article, I am going to

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Southern Mac and Cheese

Don’t most people like macaroni and cheese?  Seems so to me. Somewhere long ago some forward thinking cook decided to combine two of my favorite ingredients–macaroni and cheese–to make a delicious and simple main dish or side dish. By itself, macaroni is just about tasteless, but combine it with other ingredients and it can become

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Old-Fashioned Butter Rolls

Many years ago my mother made a book of recipes to be handed down to her children and grandchildren. The book was a treasure trove of recipes from generations past, many concocted in order to utilize the ingredients on hand and produce tasty dishes. During hard times, such as the Great Depression, my mother and

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Alabama’s Famous Noccalula Falls

For the past seventy-five years, residents of Etowah County, Alabama have used Noccalula Falls, a 250-acre campground high on Lookout Mountain, as their primary gathering place for Sunday picnics, family reunions, office parties and social club events.  When I was young, my family often went to “the Falls” to admire its grandeur and to hike

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Southern Mama’s Hoe Cakes

As a Southern girl I know full well that, on a cold winter morning, there is nothing on this earth like the taste of strawberry jelly and hot, buttered hoe cake bread.   My family grew up enjoying this tasty bread along with an assortment of companion foods: sorghum, molasses, syrup, and honey plus all

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Alabama’s famous shoe tree

Let’s face facts. There are just some aspects of life that defy a satisfactory explanation. Without empirical evidence, many matters fall into the abyss of “opinion.” For instance, why do people take a pair of shoes, tie the strings, and toss them onto a tree limb? I have heard from a reliable source (my son),

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How I Learned to Read

I came into this world in the usual way: one mother plus one father equals one baby girl, born in November, 1950 in the City of Champions, Gadsden, Etowah County, Alabama, which is nestled at the very end of Lookout Mountain. I have a pretty good memory, at least for the early fifties. Some of

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